Busted in Belize: Shaking Down the Cruise Ship Tourists

Belize - Cruise Ship - Pot - MarijuanaDr. Ross Klein's Cruise Junkie and Local News Station 5 in Belize are reporting on the arrest of two cruise passengers who went ashore in Belize last week. Both young men were caught with small amounts of pot in Belize's "tourism village" and were arrested. 

As I have mentioned before in a prior article, Reefer Madness: Cruise Passengers Busted in Belize During Cruises, don't think that the police in Belize will look the other way if you are a cruise passenger and want to buy pot ashore in Belize.

Even though the drug dealers will try and sell you pot and whatever else you want as soon as you step off of the cruise ship, Belize has a reputation of arresting, fining and/or jailing tourists for possession of small amounts of  the evil weed.  

You can get arrested for pot, even though you just bought the weed ashore. It's less than clear whether this is part of an undercover drug sting or just corrupt cops working with the dealers.   

The arrests last week involve two cruise ship passengers who arrived in Belize. One passenger was from Dayton, Tennessee and the other was from Saint Martin. 

The arrests occurred less than an hour before the last tender was to sail back to the passengers' cruise ship. One passenger with 4.7 grams of marijuana was fined $400. The other passenger had 8 ounces was fined $800. Both men paid their fine and rushed off to their waiting tender to make it back to the ship.

That's speedy "justice" in Belize. $1,200 in fines collected in about 45 minutes.

There are lots of articles online about cruise passengers arrested in Belize for "acting suspiciously at the tourism village."  That could mean whatever the arresting police officer wants it to mean. 

Cruise passengers are easy marks. No one is going to argue due process or other legal mumbo-jumbo while there is no bail for cruise passengers in Belize. It's easier to pay the fine, get back on the ship, and drink a margarita than to go to jail.    

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Comments (6) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Margarida Miguéis - September 30, 2013 3:23 PM

Belize is turning the Singapore of the Caribbean .....maybe if cruise ships stop to make this port of call...who knows?!

Tim - October 2, 2013 4:14 PM

Its hard to feel sorry for someone who gets off a ship in a foreign country and tries to buy drugs. If cops there are arresting folks for merely "acting suspicious", cruise lines need to consider dropping this port.

Chris - October 9, 2013 7:42 AM

Agree with Tim. They are being charged with a criminal act. Just because I am on vacation or in a "Tourism Village" doesn't mean the rules no longer apply. If you do the research, Belize has one of the lowest rates of police corruption. Those fines aren't being paid into people's pockets, they are being paid to the Magistrate. The cruise lines tell you not to buy drugs and ride scooters and such for a reason....

Greg - October 26, 2013 6:16 AM

I had a somewhat similar experience in Belize years ago. Had a cop tell me he saw me smoking a joint and produced what he claimed to be a search warrant. He and his deputy walked me back go my hotel and searched my room. Where they found a joint. They informed me that they could arrest and have me brought up on charges before the magistrate. He also flashed a pair of ancient, rusty leg and arm irons at me. However, they also suggested that the matter could be settled "privately". After some discussion, it was agreed that this meant two cartons of Marlboros and 200 USD. I was pissed off about this and after a couple of drinks told the story to the town prostitute, who told someone else who told the mayor, whose many businesses rely on tourism. He called a meeting of the town council where I had to testify under oath about what happened, and I was told that under no circumstances was I give the cop or his deputy so much as the time of day. Spent another two weeks there without incident.

Chris - November 1, 2013 4:10 PM

Don't buy illegal drugs you retards. Like I can go to Miami and buy weed on the strip in south beach out in the public? NOT. Just because you are a tourist doesn't equate to being above the law.

DeeDee - May 15, 2014 5:13 PM

@chris: you use terms like retard it's a shame it's not you being fined for likening marijuana users to disabled people. Cruel arsehole.

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